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America’s biggest companies are struggling. With revenues collapsing and debt troubles escalating, America’s corporate landscape may be about to be transformed. Forbes magazine just may have to issue a new list next year: the Unfortunate 500.
The top 500 U.S. companies by revenue are known as the Fortune 500. Unfortunately, 2008 was the worst year ever for the cream of America’s business crops. The list, published for the past 55 years, shows that overall profits for the companies in 2008 plunged an astounding 84.7 percent from the previous year to $98.9 billion.
The figures would have been even more disastrous had the price of oil not soared to $140 per barrel last year. Strip out Exxon Mobile and Chevron’s profits, and the total net profit for America’s top 500 companies would have been a minuscule $30 billion—a huge drop from 2007’s $645 billion in profits.
Other records were broken as well. Eleven of the top 25 largest corporate losses in list history took place last year.
Thirty-eight corporate giants disappeared from the Fortune 500 list altogether, in a puff of bankruptcy (Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers), mergers and forced government mergers (Wrigley’s, Wachovia, Merrill Lynch) or foreign takeovers (Anheuser Busch).
The struggles of America’s big companies are coming closer to home for many Americans. One out of every six workers in America was employed by a Fortune 500 company last year—the operative word being “was.”
As American businesses attempt to regain profitability, payrolls will likely be slashed.
The danger is that with so many companies cutting back, the mass layoffs could become a self-fulfilling cycle. Higher general unemployment means less consumer spending, which leads to further profit reductions and thus the temptation for companies to trim even more jobs.
“Everything that happens in business in the United States shows up in one way or another in the 500,” says Carol Loomis, Fortune senior editor-at-large. “It’s a mirror to the economy.”
Unfortunately, a look in the glass doesn’t show a very pretty picture right now. The reflection is a cracking economy and a future of further job losses on the way. •
NO MORALS, NO ETHICS, NO INTEGRITY
O'REILLY EXPOSES G.E. AND MSNBC
GERALD CELENTE - THE WORST IS COMING
PETER SCHIFF - APRIL 24, 2009
FACE THE FACTS NOW
CHAIM BEN PESACH - EREV RAV TRAITORS
DR. JAMES D. MANNING - PUBLIC VIDEO
DR. JAMES D. MANNING - PUBLIC VIDEO
LEGEND BARRY FARBER TALKS ABOUT "OBAMA"
U.S. CITIZENS VS. "OBAMA"
2,800 crime gangs ravage UK streets
Al Qaeda's roars back in Iraq against double target: US and Iranians
DEBKAfile Special Analysis
April 25, 2009, 2:14 PM (GMT+02:00)
Victim of new suicide attacks in Iraq
Hillary Clinton said on arrival in Baghdad Saturday, April 25, for her first visit as US secretary of State that the wave of suicide killings which accounted for more than 250 lives this month were "a tragic signal that Iraq was on the right path." She made it clear that the pullout of US troops from Iraq's main cities in nine weeks was still on track.
Many of the victims were Iranian pilgrims visiting Shiite shrines. Saturday, Baghdad closed the main border crossing from Iran until further notice.
Clinton's visit coincides with the arrival of the United States' new ambassador, Christopher Hill.
Friday, US Middle East commander Gen. David Petraeus told a House panel in Washington that attacks in Iraq will continue for some time and they may be the work of a network of foreign fighters from Tunisia. He said that four recent suicide bombers in Iraq were from that North African country. Officials captured one who planned an attack.
According to DEBKAfile's counter-terror sources, Al Qaeda is attempting a comeback in Iraq with the help of reinforcements moved long-distance from its Maghreb (North African) branch to bolster the remnants of its Iraqi strength. These fresh forces have re-extended the jihadis' reach from Mosul in the north, hitherto the last al Qaeda bastion, to Baghdad and other cities..
This development is seen by DEBKAfile's sources as instructive on two points:
1. Al Qaeda has not given up on Iraq. Encouraged by the coming US troop withdrawal for Iraqi towns in summer, it has pulled in reinforcements from far away for fighters whose faces are unknown to US and Iraqi intelligence and are spoiling for battle in the new arena.
2. By targeting Shiites and Iranian pilgrims with (female) suicide bombers, Osama bin Laden is warning Tehran and Washington that their unfolding bid to bracket their resources together for ending the Afghanistan and Pakistan conflicts will precipitate fresh trouble not only in those arenas, but also in Iraq. To this end, al Qaeda has launched a second offensive on a third front.
DEBKAfile's military sources report that a major change in Iraq has opened the door to al Qaeda's recovery. The 100,000 commanders and fighters of the Awakening Councils, the strong arm of the US surge strategy for crushing al Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents, has dropped out of the war.
After Shiite prime minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered mass detentions of the Sunni-dominated force's members, Awakening Council leaders suspect him of planning to disband it as soon as US troops are out of the main cities.
Their suspicions have gained ground from US restraint in halting the detentions. Awakening Council leaders now fear that in their haste to leave Iraq, the Americans will forget their promises to continue to protect their erstwhile allies and their rights and pay their salaries after the war on al Qaeda was won.
Therefore, for the second time in five years, armed Iraq Sunni strength and al Qaeda share an interest in battling central government in Baghdad, as well as the US and Iranian influence in Iraq.
In these sharply deteriorating circumstances, it has hard to agree with Clinton's assessment that Iraq is on the "right path."
Lemmings are a breed of small rodents that eat constantly. reproduce lustily until its population grows so large that its natural instincts signal it's time to move to "greener pastures".
From this natural migration comes the mythical sighting of millions of the creatures, rushing into lakes, rivers and the ocean and to certain death.
Americans are not yet overpopulated (306,000,000) but, getting there. Neither are Americans starving (yet).
But, looking at the crowd of eager shoppers at a Wal-Mart super-center reminded me of a typical, mythical horde of lemmings rushing off to commit (slow) suicide.
A topical and literary "stretch" but, I'm tired so give me a little "poetic license" room.
If this sounds a bit crazy trace that craziness to my 30-year awareness of the creeping suicide of America and Americas as our Dance of Death with communist China continues along with the monstrous growth of Wal-Mart (3900 stores just in the U.S.) with NOBODY in or out of the polluted Halls of Congress raising a whisper that "most favored nation" trade treaties with COMMUNIST China and other cheap-labor countries has not only destroyed our magnificent manufacturing prosperity industries, but in stores like Wal-Mart are indeed giving the unthinking American made-in-China bargains (60 cents an hour factory labor pay) --- not realizing that every bargain that sends more dollars to China, Mexico, Japan, etc. GUARANTEES that your job and certainly one for your children is disappearing into the Third World.
China and others are wallowing in the wealth that comes from American purchases and even many "up-scale" stores.
My hospital bed, wheelchair, scooter, all kinds of braces -- all made in China and not available "made in America".
For how long?
Until the last of America's "old-fashioned" factory jobs disappear and millions of Americans are thrown out of work.
NOTE: SERVICE JOBS. as President Obama is planning, for infrastructure repair (roads bridges, tunnels, sewer, water, parks, environment) -- are all COST and EXPENSE JOBS. Workers will be paid with Chinese-borrowed money or pretty "funny money" printed by the Treasury with no GOLD to back it. Phony!
The only REAL (PRODUCTIVE) JOBS are those that produce a product that can be SOLD to consumers in the U.S. and, as used to be in the 1950s, with MORE of the same for EXPORT, EXPORT, EXPORT -- as we USED to do -- before Congressional crooks made it easy for vulture corporations to give our production secrets to China, India, Mexico, etc., etc -- and DESTROYED YOURS AND YOUR CHILDREN'S JOB FUTURE.
Oh!. . . There was a lemming connection somewhere? YOU find it, please. My eye is getting fuzzy.
Germany's slump risks 'explosive' mood as second banking crisis looms
A clutch of political and labour leaders in Germany have raised the spectre of civil unrest after the country's leading institutes forecast a 6pc contraction of gross domestic product this year, a slump reminiscent of 1931 and bad enough to drive unemployment to 4.7m by 2010.
“We’ve got a lot on our plate,” President Barack Obama told 60 Minutes in March.
Isn’t that the truth.
The White House is scrambling wildly to try to stimulate a mortally sick economy back to health by putting it deeper into debt. Its ad hoc efforts have driven many even faithful supporters of the new president to doubt his ability to turn the situation around. They have much cause for alarm.
But almost overlooked amid the destruction that the government’s plans are wreaking on the American dollar and the national economy are the dangers encroaching from outside the country. Realizing that America is profoundly weakened by domestic economic problems, opportunistic predators are seizing the chance to lash out at the world’s most prosperous and powerful country.************************************************************************************************
Recombinomics Commentary 00:55
April 24, 2009
Iran canceled air show when Russia warned Israel planned to destroy all 140 warplanes
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
April 24, 2009, 11:13 AM (GMT+02:00)
Iranian warplanes did not take off
DEBKAfile's Iranian and intelligence sources disclose that Moscow warned Tehran Friday April 17 that Israel was planning to destroy all 140 fighter-bombers concentrated at the Mehr-Abad Air Force base for an air show over Tehran on Iran's Army Day the following day. The entire fleet was accordingly removed to remote bases and the display cancelled.
In the first week of April, Tehran announced it would stage its biggest air show ever to dramatize a ceremonial military parade in the capital on April 18. Iran would show the world that it is capable of fighting off an Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities. Instead only four aircraft flew over the saluting stand. Iranian media explained that the big show was cancelled due to "bad weather and poor visibility," when in fact Tehran basked in warm and sunny weather.
Moscow had informed the Iranians that its spy satellites and intelligence sources had picked up preparations at Israeli Air Force bases to destroy the 140 warplanes, the bulk of the Iranian air force, on the ground the night before the display, leaving its nuclear sites without aerial defense. A similar operation wiped out the entire Egyptian air fleet in the early hours of the 1967 war.
PRE - ORDAINED BY THE "ANGEL OF DEATH"
CHAIM BEN PESACH - EREV RAV JEWISH TRAITORS
CHAIM BEN PESACH
HAL LINDSEY - AMERICA'S DEMISE
HAL LINDSEY - OBAMA ABANDONS ISRAEL
PETER SCHIFF AND GERALD CELENTE
PETER SCHIFF - APRIL 20, 2009
DR. JAMES D. MANNING
DR. JAMES D. MANNING
DR. JAMES D. MANNING
DR. JAMES D. MANNING
In January, the Iraqi government announced that it would “not issue a new operating license to Blackwater Worldwide,” which is now known as Xe, and that the company would have to be out of the country “as soon as a joint Iraqi-U.S. committee finishes drawing up guidelines for private contractors.” But the AP reports today that the company is “still protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq, even though the company has no license to operate there and has been told by the State Department its contracts will not be renewed two years after a lethal firefight that stirred outrage in Baghdad.” Some victims of that firefight are angry that the company has yet to leave…
Army: 3 vials of virus samples missing from Maryland facility
Dakota Arms Files Bankruptcy
Dakota Arms, a privately held firearms manufacturer in Sturgis, has filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the company announced. Dakota Arms manufactures rifles, shotguns and gun parts. The company moved to Sturgis from Minnesota in the mid-1980s. Through mergers and acquisitions, Dakota Arms has since brought gun maker Nesika Bay Precision, gun maker Miller Arms Co., and gun-case maker Dan Walter Cases to Sturgis.
MICHAEL SAVAGE - JEFF KUHNER - REPORTER